Haiti

FACTBOX-U.S. military mobilizes for Haiti relief

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18 Jan 2010 23:42:31 GMT

Source: Reuters

Jan 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. military has mobilized thousands of soldiers, sailors, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel to help victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti.

Here are the main U.S. military components announced so far:

WHO IS THERE ALREADY?

* More than 11,000 military personnel were on the ground, on ships off shore or en route as of Monday, the White House said, and 33 helicopters were supporting relief operations.

* About 7,000 U.S. military personnel were due to be in Haiti by Monday for the joint military operation, dubbed "Unified Response," the White House said.

* Among fresh U.S. forces arriving Monday were 2,200 Marines in an expeditionary unit embarked on the amphibious ship Bataan. They are equipped with heavy lift and earth-moving equipment, helicopters and medical support capabilities.

* An aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, arrived on Friday with 19 helicopters on board. It has three operating rooms, several dozen hospital beds and can produce about 35,000 gallons of drinking water a day. It is flying airlift missions and delivering more than 30 pallets of relief supplies.

IMMEDIATE MISSION FOCUS:

The U.S. military is working with the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the international community and local responders to support humanitarian relief efforts. To help meet the need for clean water, U.S. military aircraft, helicopters and vessels are giving the highest priority to the shipment of donated water. Three water treatment units are in Haiti and four additional units were arriving on the Bataan.

Overall, there are more than 30 U.S. military and Coast Guard helicopters supporting delivery of aid to victims. Another 15 helicopters were expected within the next 24 hours, the White House said on Monday.

As of Sunday, U.S. military aircraft and helicopters had airlifted 130,000 humanitarian daily rations, 70,000 bottles of water and 117 tents into Port-au-Prince, U.S. Southern Command said. U.S. military aircraft are scheduled to support the delivery of approximately 550,000 additional daily rations.

U.S. and international search and rescue teams had rescued 69 earthquake victims, mostly Haitians, the White House said.

AMPHIBIOUS GROUP, FLOATING HOSPITAL

* Accompanying the Bataan is the rest of its amphibious readiness group, Fort McHenry and Carter Hall.

* The hospital ship Comfort, with one of the largest trauma facilities in the United States, is expected to arrive on Wednesday Jan. 20 with 600 medical personnel aboard. It has 12 operating rooms and 250 hospital beds, four X-ray units, one CAT scan unit, an invasive angiography suite and two oxygen-producing plants. Comfort also has up to 5,000 units of blood on board.

* Among the ships already supporting relief operations are the carrier Vinson, destroyer Higgins, frigate Underwood, cruiser Normandy and the Big Horn, a fleet oiler.

U.S. ARMY SUPPORT

* More than 700 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne and other Army units are in Haiti supporting humanitarian relief efforts. An estimated 3,000 soldiers are expected to deploy to Haiti to support Operation Unified Response.

U.S. AIR FORCE SUPPORT

* U.S. Air Force aircraft had flown more than 150 missions in support of the operation, including 29 missions into Haiti. Within 28 minutes of landing, a team of U.S. Air Force air traffic control and airfield management personnel helped the government of Haiti restore air traffic at the international airport in Port-au-Prince, Southern Command said.

* Air Force specialists worked closely with Haitian aviation officials and Haiti's government to set up a flight operations coordination center, manage safe sustainment of air operations and ensure maximum use of the airport.

* The airport is open for round-the-clock operations and has a 100-aircraft per day capacity, up from 60 aircraft per day capacity the day before, the White House said.

* The airport has received more than 600 short tons of supplies, the White House said.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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